Chris Rose: 4 minute read

Learning Disability Today 2019

Learning Disability Today (LDT) is dedicated to sharing the latest news and developments that occur within the realm of learning disabilities. It provides up-to-date learnings and keeps you informed with news, views and opinions via events such as the upcoming Learning Disability Today Conference in London, which is taking place today.

Run by our sister organisation, Pavilion Publishing, the annual conference is a gathering of the minds. Headlined by three topic streams, children and young people, health and wellbeing and policy and practice, the event welcomes everyone. From exhibitors to students and carers, from nurses to thought leaders, it is a true gathering of the minds.

Children and young people

It is estimated that in the UK alone there are 286,000 children between the ages of 0-17 that have a learning disability. This is a headline figure and one that by all accounts is increasing yearly. With the number of children requiring an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) increasing by more than 35% over the last five years, you begin to see the need for change.

Every child deserves the opportunity to the best start in life. They deserve the best education and for some of those who are living with a learning disability, they are being required to wait years for a plan that addresses their needs. By this point in time, their needs may have increased and the support is no longer sufficient, leaving them to fall behind their peers.

The increase in pupil numbers combined with increased need will be a key theme at LDT Today, with the sessions under this stream covering the following aspects:

  • Models of Training and Support for (Older) People with Learning Disabilities and Their Families
  • Supporting Young People into Housing
  • Meeting Mental Health Needs of Children and Young People with Intellectual Disabilities
  • How to Develop Young Adults’ Social Communication Skills Using Methods of Creative and Innovative Practice

Health and wellbeing

This is a subject header that we should all take note of. Our health and wellbeing should be the most important consideration in our lives. As the old saying goes, ‘your health is the most important asset in your life’. You will not get a second chance at life and so you should look after yourself but it is something that can be forgotten in the haste of modern life.

We all need help at times to live the best life possible and so the purposes for these sessions are to discuss ways and means in which you can support those with learning difficulties throughout their lives. Support is rarely required in a ‘one-off’ capacity when it comes to learning difficulties or mental health.

We need to learn how we can best support individuals who live with learning difficulties or mental health issues. Sessions under this stream include:

  • Supporting People to Have a Good Life as They Grow Older
  • Accepting the Impact of Trauma in Intellectual Disability
  • Supporting People with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities – the Responsibilities of Adult Social Care Providers
  • People with Learning Disabilities Hear Voices Too
  • Understanding and adapting best practice to support people with intellectual disabilities who hear voices that others cannot hear

Policy and practice

We all know and accept that life is underpinned by policy and procedure. It is something that binds organisations together and aligns us all with a set purpose. We sometimes don’t agree with the policies laid out but we can all agree that without policies and procedures we would end up in a desperate muddle. All of us attacking problems in a different manner with no way and means in which to asses results and adapt approaches.

One of the key sessions that will be covered during the day is Liberty Protection Standards. The introduction of these in 2020 will replace the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and have caused a raft of discussion in Parliament. The speaker for this session will be covering the changes that are likely to be enshrined in law and cover the controversial addition of not informing the individuals of their rights first.

Alongside the upcoming changes to DoLS, the stream will also cover:

  • Embedding a Trauma-Informed Approach in services offering support to people with learning disabilities and or autism through developing, ‘Trauma Champions
  • 100 Years of Learning Disability. Where to Now? Past, Present and Future of learning disability nursing with and for people who have learning disabilities and their families
  • Human Rights of People with Learning Disabilities

Why will we be in attendance?

As an organisation, we work with multiple sectors and therefore want to attend events that bring together thought leaders around subjects that we have an interest in. Learning disabilities affect thousands across the country and we are passionate about working with organisations that make a difference to those affected by them. As a technology supplier in the Learning Disability space, we help clients such as Resolve and Pure Innovations transform the service they deliver to their learning disability clients.

Person-centred recording enables workers and clients to work together to agree on plans for the client to live the best possible life. As an organisation, we work across social care and education to ensure people receive the support they need to improve their experiences. Earlier this year we completed work with the UK’s first Bi-borough SEND partnership to install, ECLIPSE Case Management across the districts. The London Borough of Westminster and The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea moved to a collaborative approach towards processing EHCP plans and the results are great to see.

In addition to being completed a month ahead of schedule, the project has saved time, which over the course of a year will save an estimated 10,000 hours. This additional time can then be re-allocated to the rest of the service and has enabled all EHC plans to be completed on time. This is why we will be in attendance to share this story and others of when we have saved organisations time.

To conclude

Learning disabilities affect thousands in the UK and millions worldwide. It is something that has most likely touched us all, either through a friend, family member or someone at work. It deserves our time and attention like other disabilities. We work with organisations that in turn work with those living with learning disabilities and it is something that we are immensely proud of.

We are in attendance today to tell a story and that is one of time-saving. Organisations that have been bogged down in administration and we have liberated them from this. We have provided them with the key to freedom. To unchaining themselves from their desks in order to continue making a difference to the lives of those affected by learning disabilities.

Learning Disabilities Today does a fantastic job in bringing together change-makers that can create differences that then can be taken to the industry and create lasting change. If you are in attendance during the event and if you attend any future LDT events, then come along and say hi.